9.07.2021 Friday

Belarusian spring: summary of Doctor Oy’s residence

This past June marked the end of the AIR Wro residency Belarusian Spring. As part of the project, two artists from behind the eastern border Ulyana Nevzorova and Dmitry Doroshenko - worked in Przedmieście Oławskie at the Komuny Paryskiej 45 Workshop.

On the social media profiles of the Culture Zone Wrocław (Strefa Kultury Wrocław) and the AIR Wro residency programme you could follow the research steps of the artists invited to the project. Since April they have been getting to know Wrocław in full lockdown, in order to discover it later in a completely different version, that is the one opening to the public and with a full calendar of events. However, the residents’ main task was not so much to produce artistic work, but to look closely at the city-forming processes during their walks, to reflect on the role of art in urban space, and to take a critical look at street art in the context of Belarus and Poland.

Ulyana and Dmitry visited many institutions important for the culture sphere of the capital of Lower Silesia and met their representatives (among others: Openheim, BWA Wrocław, the College of Eastern Europe, Krupa Gallery, Survival Festival, New Meadows Inhabitants Integration Centre, Wro Art. Center and this year’s Wro Art Biennale, Lower Silesian Film Centre). Moreover, we have permanently inscribed their history and portfolio into the programme of activities of the Culture Zone Wrocław.

Talks, joint actions and solidarity events

Artist talk with three Belarusian artists – Doctor Oy, Ulyana Nevzorova and Alesia Maisei – took place on 18 May as part of the AIR Wro programme (video of the meeting is available HERE). The topics raised by the artists clarified the need for more frequent conversations about the contemporary situation of Belarus and the artists living there. The intimate and solidarity atmosphere of the artist talk organised for the first time this year with a live audience was a huge success. We managed to create a meeting place for Belarusians living in Poland around the AIR Wro programme. In the aftermath, and as part of the City Academy in Barbara, Joanna Panciuchin led a conversation a few weeks later about the socio-political situation in our eastern neighbours. There were threads related to the current situation, but also facts from the past – which had the greatest impact on Belarus now. This conversation can also be seen on Facebook (video of the meeting HERE). As part of it, Doctor Oy talked about how his project is created in his studio at 45 Komuny Paryskiej Workshop and made five unique hand-drawn posters live.

Another important event was the June solidarity meeting under the new mural in Wrocław with Belarusian oppositionists, including Swiatlana Tichanouska, which was also attended by Dmitry Doroshenko. He also received an invitation to participate in the 10th Festival of Independent Belarusian Culture in Wrocław. Right after a touching performance by Alexandra Konofalska, an outstanding artist of sandography, Doctor Oy encouraged the audience to joint actions and publicly praised the solidarity actions with Belarus in Wrocław.

Spatial work on a square in Oławskie Przedmieście

During this intensive period, the artist also created new projects of murals (we would like to remind you that it is his leading area of activity). He also experimented with steet art in 3D. His sculpture entitled “Elizavieta Kino”, inspired by the Asian figurine of happiness – the maneki-neko cat, which he had been working on at the Studio of the Komuny Paryskiej 45 for two weeks in June, had its unveiling just before his departure on 1 July, when it set off from the Przedmieście Oławskie (one of Wrocław’s suburb) to Park Staromiejski and then to the courtyard by Centrum Integracji Mieszkanców Nowe Łąki (where it is currently located).

We hope that both Ulyana and Dmitry will return to us later this year to complete the murals they drew in their sketchbooks in Wrocław. Keep your fingers on the pulse. Да пабачэня! – said AIR Wro team.

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